The Luca Girl’s Guide To Self Tanning
We all know that both tanning beds and getting a tan the natural way are dangerous. We want to avoid sun damage, especially the terminal kind, yet nothing looks more glorious in the summer than a gorgeous, glowing, golden tan.
So what’s a girl to do? The obvious answer is to do a fake-bake, but that can be fraught with its own set of perils. Patchy cover, color that’s too orange, that awful smell!
In the interest of perfect fake-bakes, we at Luca magazine chatted with one of the premiere airbrush tanners here in town, Sarah San Marco, and got you the low down:
How do you prevent getting orange instead of tan?
The most common mistakes are using too much product or trying to achieve a level of tan that is too dark for your skin tone. Another reason is using a product with the wrong undertone for your skin
What about the smell? Self tanners are notorious for being stinky – can you get rid of the smell?
DHA, a main ingredient in many sunless tanning products needed to create the bronze hue, combined with the sugars in your skin are responsible for that icky smell. Solutions containing a higher content of chemicals, or non-organic materials tend to have a longer and more potent odor. You can minimize the odor by using organic-based products that are naturally scented with essential oils (instead of artificial fragrances).
It may still be a little smelly when it’s applied, but it rinses off when the developing phase is over.
What do you do if your self tan is streaky/patchy/blotchy?
The only way to ensure your tan will develop properly and evenly is to make sure your skin is in optimal condition prior to tanning. Keep your skin extra hydrated in the days leading up to your tan. The day of your tan exfoliate your skin, paying extra attention to elbows and knees, heels and ankles, and do not wear any lotions/creams, makeup, deodorant or any other product that can prevent the solution from properly penetrating through the skin. Use a barrier cream on knees, elbows, ankles and heels to stop too much product from grabbing there.
What is the difference between a spray tanning booth and an airbrush tan?
A professional tanning artist will ensure the products being used are designed specifically for your unique skin tone and will control how much product is being applied and where. They also know how to camouflage and accentuate certain areas by using custom contouring techniques that cannot be accomplished in a spray tanning booth. A good artist can camouflage tan lines, scars and even cellulite!
How long should a self tan/airbrush tan last? How can we prolong it?
As long as you have followed your pre- and post- tanning instructions properly, an airbrush tan should last 5-10 days. Taking long, hot showers and baths, swimming and certain body products can cause a tan to fade more quickly. Pat dry after showers rather than rubbing with a towel and always apply a body lotion after bathing.
Sarah San Marco has a mobile airbrush tanning business, keeping models, celebrities, brides and regular gals golden, in the privacy of their own home. www.SarahSanMarco.com